September 25, 1998

Lake Elevation: 3688 msl

Water Temperature: 75 F

By Wayne Gustaveson

The 12-15 inch stripers are kickiní the doors in to get at shad in the lower lake. Look for boils every morning in Warm Creek, Gunsight, Face, Last Chance, Friendship Cove, Rock Creek and many other spots. Stripers round up shad and then drive them in to the back of a cove. Most of the action seems to centered around shallow flats with tamarisk trees just emerging from the declining lake. The action could start anytime between first light and 10 am. It depends on when the stripers and the shad get together. It is worth the effort to look for an hour because the reward is great. A school of stripers on top can easily provide 50 fish in the live well in short order. Stripers are big enough to provide great sport. They hit full size zara spooks or other 5 inch stick baits. They annihilate shallow running rattle traps, shad raps or spots. They can be picked up on the bottom with 3/4 ounce sliver spoons and white jigs.

Midlake is quiet now but there are boils occurring in the Red Canyon/Blue Notch area early and late. Cruise the shoreline and watch for splashes or bird activity in the very back of coves. Fish can be caught by casting to likely looking spots while you wait for the boil to erupt. When the surface disturbance is found, get just close enough to throw a long cast to the rising fish. They are staying up a long time and are not really spooky, so take your time getting close enough to cast. Do not run over the school and scare the fish.

Boils stop about 10 am but a few singles can still be taken by casting to the shore and brushy points. After they go down try trolling a rattle trap or little mac in the deep water adjacent to the cove where the boils were seen. You can take a few more fish that way. Sometimes the fish come in again near noon or 1 pm. Most often it is in the last hour of daylight before the surface erupts again. Water temperature is still 75. The bigger stripers will not boil until the temperature drops into the 60's.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass are hitting top water right in with the stripers. Some big fish (7 pounds) have been taken this week. During the day, bass are deeper with good catches reported at 30-40 foot depths along main channel rock slides next to steep cliffs. Bass fishing is good over the entire lake but great in the upper San Juan around Copper Canyon. Look for striper boils there also.

Catfish continue to provide great catching opportunities every evening. On the whole fishing is really good right now. Think surface fishing early in the morning.